Week 5 Eagles grades by position after tough win vs. Cardinals

GLENDALE, Ariz. — It wasn’t pretty but the Eagles remained unbeaten.

The Eagles beat the Cardinals 20-17 at State Farm Stadium on Sunday to improve to 5-0. But the nature of this game made it pretty hard to grade.

There’s plenty to improve, but a win is a win, right?

Quarterback

Jalen Hurts: 26-of-36, 239 yards; 15 rushing attempts, 61 yards, 2 TDs

This wasn’t Hurts’ best game. The entire pass game was a little disjointed on Sunday and really struggled to get much going. The INT was a bad throw. Most of their passing game was horizontal against the Cardinals. They ran a ton of screens and I kept waiting for the deep shot to follow and it never came. Still, Hurts did enough for the Eagles to win. And he added two more rushing touchdowns; he’s up to six through five games, which ties an Eagles record.

Grade: B

Running back

Miles Sanders: 15 carries, 58 yards

For much of Sunday’s game, the Eagles didn’t really get their running attack going. But on that 7:58 drive in the fourth quarter, they really started to grind out some tough yards on the ground. Sanders’ numbers aren’t going to blow you away but he had a nice game. And his ball security in these situations isn’t questioned anymore, which is a big deal.

Grade: B

Receiver

DeVonta Smith: 10 catches on 11 targets, 87 yards

Not sure why the Eagles went into this game plan without AJ Brown being heavily featured. Smith ended up catching a career-high 10 passes, but he did have a pretty big drop in the second half. Quez Watkins had 3 for 19, his first catches since the Vikings game.

Grade: B-

Tight end

Dallas Goedert: 8 catches on 9 targets, 95 yards

Goedert is proving every week that he’s not just a true TE1 in the NFL, but that he’s one of the absolute best at his position. Another dynamic performance from Goedert, one that included a big catch on a crucial 3rd-and-12 in the fourth quarter.

Grade: A

Offensive line

At one point in this game, the Eagles were without their starting left tackle, left guard and center, but they still managed to play fairly well — Credit Jeff Stoutland for that — so we’re grading on a curve. And that final fourth quarter drive happened because the Eagles let their guys up front work. And all those QB sneaks? Big wins for the OL.

Grade: A

Defensive line

Haason Reddick: 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit

The Eagles were too leaky against the run in this game and failed to get consistent pressure on Kyler Murray. The Eagles entered Week 5 with the most sacks in the NFL (16) but recorded just one in this game. Granted, it was a big sack on third down for Reddick, who now has 4 1/2 in his last three games.

Grade: C+

Linebacker

Kyzir White: 6 tackles

Give credit to White for spying Murray for a lot of this game. Murray ended up with four carries for 42 yards but did not destroy the Eagles with his legs. TJ Edwards led the Eagles’ linebackers with 8 tackles but it wasn’t his best game. He missed a few tackles and it seemed like the Cardinals were happy to have him in coverage. The Cardinals really exploited that.

Grade: C-

Secondary

CJ Gardner-Johnson: 10 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU

Murray threw for just 250 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. CJ Gardner-Johnson picked up that INT, his first as a member of the team. The Eagles’ secondary was fine in this game; it felt like some of their completions were more to blame on the scheme.

Grade: B-

Special teams

Cameron Dicker: 2/2 on FGs, 2/2 on PATs

Sure, the Cardinals converted a desperation fake punt in this game and that’s a loss for the Eagles’ special teams unit and, yes, Britain Covey muffed another punt. But Dicker the Kicker came through in his NFL debut, drilling a 42-yarder in the third quarter and then hitting the game-winning 23-yarder in the fourth. Those are high pressure kicks and he delivered, unlike the Cardinals’

Grade: A

Coaching

Record: 5-0

The Eagles won the game and they’re undefeated… but I didn’t love their game plans on offense or defense in this one. On offense, we knew the Cardinals were going to blitz and it still seemed like the Eagles weren’t ready for it. They figured out in the fourth quarter that they could just run all over the Cardinals. They really tried to attack the flats in this one and it seemed like the Cards were happy to let them do it.

And on defense, it felt like the Eagles were too conservative with a lead again. Not saying you have to dial up zero blitzes up and down the field but they were a little too soft and that showed in their failure to get off the field on third downs in the second half.

Grade: C

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